National Trust increases transparency
June 12, 2009
National Trust increases transparency

In an attempt to increase the transparency of the organisation and encourage members of the public to join, the St. Vincent and the Grenadines National Trust has announced its new Board of Trustees and published a 3-year policy statement and action plan.{{more}}

At a press conference held on Monday, June 8, Chairperson Louise Mitchell-Joseph introduced the newly elected Board of Trustees and delivered a summarization of the policy statement/action plan. “The purpose of this plan is not just for ourselves to set the way forward, but for the public to know what the trust is about… I know we suffer from a lack of understanding…,” Mitchell-Joseph explained.

She added that although the policy statement/action plan is still subject to revision, the Trust deems it necessary to make it available to the public now, rather than later. Mitchell-Joseph also pointed out that due to legislation passed in 2007, the National Trust has the power to declare any place, building or object as “protected national heritage.” This makes it a criminal offence to tamper with anything deemed as such.

Ongoing projects are already in play at Fort Charlotte Рwhich includes renovation, introduction of entrance fees for adults and a caf̩; and the development of the Youroumei Heritage Village as a cultural landmark. Other planned projects signify a close working relationship between the National Trust and the Ministries of Culture and Tourism.

Operating under the new tag line “Love your country”, the National Trust’s policy statement/action plan outlines matters concerning preservation, conservation and monitoring; built heritage; archaeological projects; inclusion of sites on the World Heritage List; educational outreach; fundraising, and public relations.

National Trust properties include Fort Duvernette, L’Islot (south of Canouan), West Cay (off Bequia), The Curator’s House at the Botanical Gardens and Big Cay (off Bequia). Additionally, the National Trust is “desirous of acquiring” Frigate Island, The Carnegie Building, the building presently housing Her Majesty’s Prisons, Milligan’s Cay, Fort Charlotte, Chateaubelair and Buccament Bay Islets, and all forts located on Crown land.

Trustee Adrian Codogan encouraged young people to be a part of the Trust’s activities because their involvement is crucial to the continuation of the organisation’s work and its longevity. He was keen to point out that the Trust is no longer the elitist organisation that it used to be, and membership is open to any member of the public.

Following its Annual General Meeting on March 31, 2009, the Board of Trustees is as follows: Louise Mitchell-Joseph – Chairperson; Descima Hamilton – Deputy Chairperson; Fitzgerald Providence – Secretary; Hal Daize – Trustee; Adrian Codogan – Trustee; Mark Lulley – Treasurer; Andrew Woodroffe – Trustee, and John Renton – Trustee. (JSV)